Ohio deer hunters closing in on 180,000 kills

With just two reporting periods left in Ohio’s 2016-2017 deer-hunting calendar the state will unquestionably see a take exceeding 180,000 animals: A somewhat ambiguous projection by officials with the Ohio Division of Wildlife.

However, it is conversely likely that Ohio deer hunters will neither equal nor best last year’s all-seasons’ total take of 188,335 animals.

The current to-date deer harvest stands at 178,117 animals, as of Jan. 24. The comparable 2015-2016 deer season to-date kill as of Jan. 26, 2016 was 184,791 animals.

Simple math shows that for this current Ohio deer-hunting season hunters have killed 6,694 fewer animals than at the same point of the 2015-2016 season.

And the arithmetic indicates that last season hunters killed just 3,544 deer during the final two-week leg of the deer-hunting season. Thus, tack on another 3,500 to 4,000 deer to this season’s theoretical total and hunters will top the 180,000 mark – but barely; perhaps 182,000 to 182,500 animals.

Looking at the statistics from another angle and the all-important take of antlerless deer has fallen, a point the wildlife division has stressed is one of its deer management goals.

The 2015-2016 to-date total harvest figure for antlerless deer was 108,987 animals. This season’s to-date antlerless deer kill is 103,461 animals; and though many of these deer no doubt are button bucks, it is safe to say that fewer does are being killed under the Division of Wildlife’s current deer management protocols.

Interestingly as well , and in spite of Ohio’s lengthy archery deer-hunting season  (one of the nation’s longest, by the way), parity exists between the number of antlerless deer shot and the number of antlered deer taken by archers: 39,745 for antlered deer and 39,588 for antlerless deer for a difference of only 157 animals. Such a notation demonstrates once again archery hunters’ selectivity.

Of Ohio’s 88 counties, 28 have to-date posted deer kill gains while the remaining 60 have recorded to-date deer harvest declines when compared to their respective 2015-2016 to-date numbers.

Obviously some counties have seen significant deer harvest declines – Adams County being a prime example( a drop of 884 animals) – while some to-date declines are statistically miniscule – Hancock County as an example (a to-date drop of only eight animals).

At the other end of the harvest spectrum, gains were seen, though generally not as dramatic as are the observed declines. Trumbull County, for instance, has a to-date harvest increase of 351 deer while Fayette County has seen a to-date harvest jump of just four deer.

A snapshot of select counties with their to-date 2016-2017 all-inclusive deer hunting seasons harvest numbers (and their respective 2015-2016 figures in parantheneses) are:

  • Adams – 3,214 (4,098)
  • Ashland – 2,894 (2,979)
  • Ashtabula – 4,941 (4,764)
  • Athens – 3,587 (3,925)
  • Auglaize 747 (814)
  • Belmont – 3,189 (3,169)
  • Brown – 2,383 (2,702)
  • Carroll – 3,505 (3,497)
  • Clark – 641 (733)
  • Clermont – 2,243 (2,716)
  • Columbiana – 3,147 (3,249)
  • Coshocton – 5,796 (5,603)
  • Defiance – 1,662 (1,745)
  • Erie – 809 (734)
  • Fayette – 309 (305)
  • Franklin – 799 (772)
  • Gallia – 2,693 (2,890)
  • Geauga – 1,799 (1,824)
  • Greene – 787 (814)
  • Guernsey – 4,494 (4,348)
  • Hamilton – 1,477 (1,907)
  • Hancock -1,159 (1,167)
  • Harrison – 3,711 (3,740)
  • Henry – 700 (678)
  • Highland – 2,545 (2,882)
  • Hocking – 3,192 (3,669)
  • Holmes – 3,638 (also 3,669)
  • Huron – 2,254 (2,179)
  • Jefferson – 2,752 (2,622)
  • Knox – 4,426 (4,395)
  • Lake – 915 (875)
  • Licking – 4,815 (5,204)
  • Lorain – 2,432 (2,364)
  • Lucas – 727 (728)
  • Madison – 473 (485)
  • Mahoning – 1,895 (1,794)
  • Medina – 2,034 (1,825)
  • Meigs – 3,399 (3,538)
  • Mercer – 653 (598)
  • Monroe – 2,542 (2,561)
  • Morgan – 2,958 (3,062)
  • Muskingum – 5,031 (4,895)
  • Noble – 2,808 (2,928)
  • Ottawa – 439 (396)
  • Perry – 2,752 (2,828)
  • Pickaway – 710 (787)
  • Pike – 2,047 (2,347)
  • Portage – 2,138 (2,128)
  • Richland – 3,172 (3,128)
  • Ross – 2,967 (3,362)
  • Scioto – 2,431 (2,988)
  • Seneca – 1,818 (1,758)
  • Stark – 2,689 (2,703)
  • Summit – 1,468 (1,401)
  • Trumbull – 3,609 (3,258)
  • Tuscarawas – 4,914 (4,835)
  • Union – 825 (919)
  • Van Wert – 457 (489)
  • Vinton – 2,636 (3,032)
  • Washington – 3,351 (3,475)
  • Wayne – 1,995 (1,943)
  • Williams – 1,653 (1,820)
  • Wood – 846 (822)
  • Wyandot – 1,451 (1,496)

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